• "Extreme Trains" hosted by Matt Bown

  • Discussion related to railroads/trains that show up in TV shows, commercials, movies, literature (books, poems and more), songs, the Internet, and more... Also includes discussion of well-known figures in the railroad industry or the rail enthusiast hobby.
Discussion related to railroads/trains that show up in TV shows, commercials, movies, literature (books, poems and more), songs, the Internet, and more... Also includes discussion of well-known figures in the railroad industry or the rail enthusiast hobby.

Moderator: Aa3rt

  • 158 posts
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 11
  by NV290
That New York Daily News review was excellent. I particular thought this was an great point:
Bown also has one failing among his many good qualities as a host. He seems to think he needs to frame a routine daily coal train run as life-or-death drama, warning us every five minutes that if the brakes fail or the coal cars come loose, there could be a terrible wreck.
From his tone, you'd think the odds are somewhere around 50-50 and that it's a miracle any train completes its run at all.
In reality, there seem to have been about two major wrecks in 150 years, which suggests maybe Matt could relax a little.
Matt seems very likeable and in person, he is probably a great guy. But his hyper and overly animated, overly dramatic behavior just got to me. But in his defense, Maybe the producers pushed him to do that and even went so far as to script it. I mean, the show is called EXTREME trains. I guess that requires Matt to make things seem more extreme then they really are.
  by umtrr-author
If you have iTunes, you can get the "Coal Trains" episode for free as of Monday, 17 Nov 2008. This is most likely for a limited time only.

Based on the screen from which you can download this freebie, it appears that the "Extreme Trains" series will be available for purchase from iTunes. An alternative for those of us that don't have cable television (like me).
  by moth
I thought it was interesting how excited he got being inside a modern locamotive vs the machines that Pan Am manages to keep running year after year.
  by Aa3rt
MEC407 wrote:Also, could the moderator please change the thread title to reflect the correct spelling of Mr. Bown's name? I'm sure he'd appreciate it. :wink:

My only criticism thus far, and this is not the fault of Mr. Bown, is the stock footage that the History Channel sometimes inserts when depicting trains. Did anyone else notice the black & white footage of a European (possibly French) steam engine pulling a passenger train? This isn't the first show on the History Channel where I've seen this.

EDIT Well, they did it again tonight (Tuesday, Nov. 18)-did anyone notice the scenes of the wrecked passenger train when the wreck of the "World's Fair Flyer" near Pueblo, Colorado was being discussed while Matt was inspecting the high water detector and slide fences? Definitely a European passenger train wrecked in the river.
  by CSX Conductor
On tonight's episode I love how he says he's only used to going 40MPH when in Maine.....um, didn't think the B&M went that fast,lol. Just like the NS coal trip he bounces from train to train and multiple aerial shots of other trains to make it look like they're moving along faster than they are. Coming into their destination he says railroaders work 24/7, he makes it sound like we never sleep, although it sometimes feels that way.

What I want to know is whether or not anybody in management with the BNSF has made a big deal about Matt's numerous rules violations. Let's see, no safety glasses while in the cab, improper technique when apply hand-brake towards the end of the show (pulling wheel-type hand-brakes upward could do some back damage).

Did anybody else notice that he says that the electricians are load testing the unit that just had a new turbo installed, but it wasn't the same unit? (Unit in shop was a three digit road number beginning with a 7, the one load tested was a four digit road number).
  by Kaback9
On last weeks episode I heard a cell phone in the cab and said thats a big no no. I couldn't believe how excited he was to be on a train going 70mph. I was like my god have you not been on a commuter train or Amtrak?!

Overall though this episode was better at least they did not make it seem like he was on the same train this time. They showed new crews. The problem I had was they called the episode Freight Train. Yes it was a freight train but I think it would have been better to call it container train or stack train, When I think of a freight Train I think of a mix of freight cars.
  by CSX Conductor
But if they called it a stack or van train that would confuse the public.

As far as different crews, did you notice that they zoomed in on the engineer pressing the horn button and the number said 5#[email protected], and then the camera panned to Matt and the number above his head and the fireman side window said [email protected]#. LOL :P
  by MEC407
CSX Conductor wrote:On tonight's episode I love how he says he's only used to going 40MPH when in Maine.....um, didn't think the B&M went that fast,lol.
Freight speed on the B&M in Maine is 40. But I thought he worked on the MEC north of Portland... don't know of any 40 MPH running there. (Maybe he ventures south of Portland occasionally...?)

Anyway, I just watched the "Coal Train" episode (free download on iTunes) and I thought it was very entertaining. Was it the same as a Pentrex video? No. Was it a documentary with a focus on 100% accuracy? No. But it was fun to watch, it was interesting, and it made me want to see the next episode.
  by harleyfiremedic
Seems like the show could use a continuity person to make sure all the shots work together.
  by Jtgshu
I saw the show for the first time last night, the episode that followed the BNSF train from LA east to Texas.

Other than a few side bars which didn't make much sense, but where interesting, seeing them changing out the Turbo on the GE, and then lubing up the Steamer at Steamtown (what did that have to do with anything?) I thought it was pretty decent.

Look, the show is for "normal" people - not us. We aren't "normal people", some of us here are looking at the show like its made for us, and want all the info to be absolutely correct, historically and techincally, etc, etc.

Jeez!!! Its a TV show! I was quite impressed with how many different aspects of the industry was shown in that hour - off the top of my head, the dispatcher, bridge operator, crane operator, intermodal loaders (whatever you wanna call them) car inspector, mechanical forces, MOW forces, track gangs, signals, engineering (not train engineering hahah) and the various equipment that those OTHER crafts use IN ADDITION to Train and Engine service.

Contrary to what some of us here wanna think, there are MANY other differnet crafts on the railroad and the Engineer/Conductor is not the ONLY imporantant craft on the RR. We ALL have to work together to get the trains over the road, and the show did a pretty good job of showing that.

He goes get a little "excitable" but its all in good fun. I just think its pretty damn cool to have a TV show that shows the WHOLE railroad industry, showing ALL of our jobs in a good light.

How many regular people would watch a show on trainhandling or intricate details? Ugh - reminds me of those horrible videos we had to watch in ChooChooU - im sure that would be a REAL ratings hit!!! hahhahahaha

Maybe someone could dredge up that EMD wheelslip video from like the 1960s with I think it was a C&O GP40. RIVITING footage......
  by Mattydred
My two cents: I really enjoy the show. Matt was probably chosen for his animated, hyper demeanor. Not that I'm a huge fan of the reality format, but I'm sure they chose him for his "extreme" disposition. I know a lot of you purists don't like it. But you have to remember that this is after all a TV show, and you want to pull in viewers besides the likes of us foamers. I really enjoy the short, historical interludes and tie-ins with modern scenarios. Not to mention the frequent, too-short asides to Steamtown are tantalizing and leave me wanting more. That would be my selfish suggestion: more historical segments. All in all, you should be happy that there's a modern show that depicts American railroading in a positive and forwardly-thinking manner.

I'd like to see more than one season. You've also got to wonder in PAR will work its way onto the show. That episode would probably be called "Making Do with Hand Me Downs." Sorry about the deliberate cheap shot. I couldn't resist.
  by GSC
The guys here will nitpick the technical items forever, and we'll all cringe at the occasional lapse in accuracy, but I still like the show. As posted above, this show is produced for "normal" people. Rivet counting and wheel arrangements don't sell commercial time.

We all accept that "normal" does not apply to us.
  by RailBus63
I don't get the criticism about needing an engineer to host the show - it's about railroading, not just about driving the train. At least it's not being hosted by some blowhard newscaster wannabe who is reading off a script.

I've thoroughly enjoyed the first two episodes. I like how they are spending time explaining what the train is hauling and why this is important. The edits are a little too quick for my liking, but Matt's enthusiasm is great and he clearly knows his stuff. All in all, they are doing a great job in explaining some of what goes on behind the scenes. Even my preteen daughter started getting into this week's episode and asking questions about what was being shown.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 11